(CBS Seattle) –The soldier accused of killing five fellow service members in Iraq has been found guilty of premeditated murder, KIRO TV reported.
A military judge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord made the ruling Monday. Sgt. John Russell, of Sherman, Texas had already pleaded guilty to unpremeditated murder to avoid the death penalty. According to KIRO TV, Monday’s ruling clarifies that Russell planned the killings. Premeditation is a factor in whether Russell must serve life in prison.
Killed in the 2009 shooting were Navy Cmdr. Charles Springle, of Wilmington, N.C., and four Army service members: Pfc. Michael Edward Yates Jr., of Federalsburg, Md.; Dr. Matthew Houseal, of Amarillo, Texas; Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos, of Paterson, N.J.; and Spc. Jacob D. Barton, of Lenox, Mo.
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